Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blogging Summery Olivia Jacket

Libby was here last weekend to help out at Knitter's Fantasy (and she was a HUGE help - I might have managed the Caps for Kids table OK, but I never could have had such a successful Magic Loop class without her - and we had FUN!!).

We were looking at Ravelry for some reason (who needs a reason?) and she commented that my comments on my projects were more like blog entries. And I was struck once again that it's true, Ravelry has done a lot to provide the kind of outlet I wanted to document and share what I'm knitting on. But hardly anyone reads my Ravelry entries, including the girls, in part because they're so darned long. So I thought maybe I could use the blog to enter thoughts about projects (just the big thoughts, like what cast-on to use or other enhancements/deviations from the pattern) and on Ravelry, I'd stick more to pickier stuff.

I haven't totally figured it out, but I'm going to use my Summery Olivia Jacket as an experiment, blogging say, no more than a couple of times a week and using Ravelry to record the details and between-blog-post minutiae. This way, maybe Laura will find this of value, too, some day, once she gets her knitting mojo back.

I started Summery Olivia on Friday night, made rather stunning progress (even with a fiddly new-to-me cast-on) and had an impressive three inches to show the ladies at the Knitting Fantasy wrap-up party on Saturday night, where I ended up frogging all those inches and that beautiful cast-on. I'm blaming it on Kim Hargreaves.

I'm doing a lot of math on this baby because I'm substituting an aran-weight yarn for a DK-weight yarn. The shape and style is quite simple, and this shouldn't be much of a problem (shut up - I know). So anyhow, I come up with the multiplier to convert Kim's stitch count to mine (it's .7) and happily do conversions for the first piece - the back. After knitting afore-mentioned three inches, I decide to do a gauge check (very much out of character, but apparently even a stubborn old delusional optimist can learn) and I realize my width is 2.25 inches wider than the schematic. Assuming this is my old nemesis, the lying gauge swatch, at work, I begin measuring my stitch count and my original swatch, and discover to my great surprise that everything is exactly as it should be and the source of the problem is that Kim's original stitch count does not jive with the schematic. Her original stitch count results in a piece that is two inches wider than the schematic.

So I debated. Do I just follow the stitch count and ignore the schematic or do I knit to the schematic? I'm redoing all the math anyhow, so either way is about equally difficult. Then I put Summery Olivia in time out and worked on finishing my Blue Shimmer cuffs.

At the party last night, I held up my work in progress, and everyone agreed it was way too wide, even taking into account the a-line shape. So I just pulled out the needle and started frogging. Then I tried to remember what I did to alter the instructions for the Alternate Cable Cast-On, couldn't, and put Summery Olivia back into time out and worked on trying to do a tubular cast-on in totally inadequate lighting. You can imagine how that worked out.

When I got home, I looked up the Alternate Cable cast-on directions (scroll to bottom of page - this is that great cast-on I discovered from the free Hermione's Hat pattern which, by the way, is really cute) and realized just doing it exactly as written would work perfectly, and now I'm working again and I've got more than an inch to show already this morning, which isn't bad considering I only got up an hour and a half ago.

Moral of story - always work on aran yarn and size 8 needles. Three inches is nothing!

1 comment:

Libby P said...

wow. i hate doing tons of work to change something and it turns out (for whatever reason, believe me, there can be many) that it was all unnecessary! i'm glad you figured it out though, too big sweaters are especially bad when made in cotton to be worn in summer. it will grow and be too bulky and totally unwearable. and unloved. :)